In continuing the research on my Lanier family line, I have been making some great progress actually more than I had anticipated. While browsing through online Alabama Death records, I came across the death certificate for Charity Lanier, wife of Burrell Lanier. The estimated year of birth for Charity on the Death Certificate was 1840 and the date of her passing was 12 September 1912. The most exciting information is that her parents were named and even their birth locations! Her father was Jerry Dickerson of Madison County, Alabama and her mother Rhoda Dickerson. I was unfamiliar with the location of Madison County, AL I decided that the next thing to do would be to located Madison County on a map of Alabama. It turned out that Madison County has a very interesting history of its own. It was the first county of Alabama and is the home of Huntsville, AL. Seemingly mundane details, but during the early 1800's Huntsville was part of the gateway to the West and carried on a great deal of commerce. This may have been how Jerry made his way to Madison County. I also noted the close proximity of Madison County to Tennessee; it is a border county to be exact. I then went through the census records that I for Charity and Burrell Lanier. On the 1900 census, I noted that Charity Lanier's father is listed as having been born in Tennessee.
Could Jerry Dickerson have been born in Tennessee and relocated to Northern Alabama because of the economic opportunities in Huntsville? Now to determine if he came there as a slave, slave owner or small farmer.
One other note, I was able to find a Rhoda Dickerson in Giles County, TN with her brother G.W. (George Washington) Dickerson. Could this be the Rhoda referred to on the census records? Could Rhoda Dickerson have been her mother as well and she carried her name?
Seems as if I now have more questions than answers and as well as a new family branch to research!